I got thinking about just what we’re supposed to be celebrating on the Fourth of July. The signing of the Declaration of Independence. An illegal protest against taxation without representation.
History’s a bitch, ain’t she?
I wondered how many of the grand thinkers and philosophers who came up with the bright idea of taking a stand for that particular cause actually fought for its implementation. Turns out about half. Fifty-six men signed the Declaration. Seventeen fought in the American Revolution. Five were captured. Eleven more had their homes confiscated.
The reason this all came to mind is that, as we submerge deeper and deeper into the increasingly muddy waters of another presidential election year, I am more and more irritated by those who wave flags. On both sides of the aisle.
There are all kinds of ways to be patriotic. And shoring up a fallacious argument by jumping over the cerebral cortex and coming directly from the amygdala is a time honored way to appeal to voters. I get that.
So, I don’t mind someone wrapping themselves in the bloody flag to make a political point. Except it maddens me when the blood on that flag is not their own. It pisses me off when the blood of warriors is called upon to justify what is simply a point of view and, not content to end the farce there, anyone with an opposing opinion is demonized as an ingrate not worthy of sacrifices of real patriots.
Here’s what I think.
If we want to honor those who fight in wars our government sends them to fight, let us stop behaving like selfish children. Let’s reach out to one another, work to hear each other’s words, and find a way to allow the country we profess to love to grow and to find, again, a righteous path to greatness.